In retrospective, this whole thing started way before we thought it had. In 2010,
Benjamin Lienhart started his career in triathlon. Soon Benjamin (then 13) was approached by one
of the internationally most renowned Austrian sports doctors, who also at the time was looking
for a possibility to sharpen his profile in the world of sports. To help the doctor do just
that, and to help the athlete professionalise his environment, this was the first time we were
being called to action - almost three years before 1st MILE was born.
In 2012, we were approached by someone who works with young kart racers. They wanted us
to help them develop their physical and mental skills. After an initial setup of the cooperation
between all parties and a good kick-off, we decided that in the field of young talents in sports
there was some serious work to be done. And thus we founded 1st MILE in early 2013, a roof under
which we could get to work: to promote young talents.
One of the key findings we had going into all of this was, that, in the search of
excellence of the highest order, the existing structures (in Austria, where our initial focus
lay) didn’t really work in favour of athletes. The main reason for this was that those
structures operate in a way that takes funding and distributes it with little to no focus on
individual needs. Fair as that may seem from a perspective focussing on equality, it does little
to produce an actual fair distribution of support for the single athlete, simply because the
needs are very different and what helps one greatly, may do nothing for another. And it most
certainly doesn’t produce greatness, because everything gravitates towards the middle ground.
Hence this method produces mediocrity.
What we also found out is, that when you challenge the status quo of existing
structures, these don’t especially like parts of their views and methods questioned (and who
does anyway, honestly). So we were met, in part, with a bit of a headwind. Nonetheless, we took
what we found in the world of sports, made sense of it all and created a concept. Said concept
was basically to gather the best people and ideas of the respective fields needed for each
individual athlete to develop their gifted talent. We decided to be of service, wherever our
ideas and action was welcome.
We emerged from it in 2021 with a clear vision of what we are able to, and want to,
offer the world. The condensate of all we have been pursuing is that success is not a certain
result, but it is indeed an attitude. It is the choice of love over fear. Sound esoteric?
In education systems, health systems, economies and particularly within high-performance sports,
we overwhelmingly find models and patterns which science has disproved decades ago. Military
structures and concepts still prevail in our schools and universities. Sports in many countries
still function through cadre/squad-systems, which are known to produce uniformity rather than
individuality. These approaches have emerged from certain periods of time and they were valuable
within those times and societal structures, but they are not an answer for today’s problems
anymore. They do not develop individual talent, they suppress it and let it wither away.
We know our mission:
1st MILE shall help people develop their talent, their gift, their vocation. Be it in
the context of sports, economy, education or health. We want to offer our experience and
expertise to support people define their goals based on what is of value to them, as well as a
way to reach them.
“Talent is not something you are (or are not) born with” - Prof. K. Anders
If you dare to find out, you can reach out to us to find out what it can mean for your situation
and goals as an athlete, individual, company or any other number of people. Feel free to contact
us and we’ll see if and what kind of cooperation we can offer you.